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In This Edition:
From Kaiser Health News:
Price and another influential GOP congressman got a discounted deal as an Australian firm seeking federal approval sought “sophisticated U.S. investors.” (Jay Hancock and Rachel Bluth, 1/13)
More than half a million people in North Carolina buy health insurance on healthcare.gov. Many are confused what will happen to their coverage as Republicans work to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but they still are signing up for 2017 plans. (Michael Tomsic, WFAE, 1/13)
An analysis of claims data from 60 health insurers found a significant increase in the amount of treatments sought by young people for conditions traditionally associated with older people, such as high blood pressure and sleep apnea. (Julie Appleby, 1/12)
A high-profile whistleblower attorney representing the physician is seeking class action status. (Ana B. Ibarra, 1/12)
Kaiser Health News provides a fresh take on health policy developments with "Political Cartoon: 'Cut A Deal'" by Signe Wilkinson .
Here's today's health policy haiku:
JUST LIKE EAR BUDS FOR KIDS, MARKET FORCES BRING NEW HEARING-AID TECHNOLOGY TO SENIORS
Can you hear me now?
Maybe … if you buy that aid
Over the counter.
If you have a health policy haiku to share, please Contact Us and let us know if you want us to include your name. Keep in mind that we give extra points if you link back to a KHN original story.
Summaries Of The News:
The vote, expected on Friday, follows the Senate's quick action on the budget blueprint that will allow Republicans to dismantle large parts of the Affordable Care Act.
The New York Times: House Expected To Follow Senate’s Lead On Rush To Repeal Health Law
The House is expected to give final approval on Friday to a measure that would allow Republicans to speedily gut the Affordable Care Act with no threat of a Senate filibuster, a move that would thrust the question of what health law would come next front and center even before President-elect Donald J. Trump takes office. (Kaplan, Pear and Huetteman, 1/12)
The Hill: House To Take Critical Step Toward Repealing ObamaCare
The House will vote Friday on a budget resolution that would pave the way for ObamaCare's repeal despite some grumbling by some Republicans wary of moving forward without a firm replacement plan ready. The Senate approved the legislation early Thursday morning, and the House is expected to follow suit before adjourning until the inauguration. (Marcos and Wong, 1/13)
CQ HealthBeat: Budget Setting Up Health Care Repeal Advances To House Floor
In a session that turned fiery, the House Rules Committee on Thursday advanced a rule that would set up floor action on a budget resolution aimed at repealing the 2010 health care law. The panel voted 9-3 along party lines, setting up a Friday vote on the budget document, with one Democratic amendment allowed. The vote on the resolution is expected around noon. The panel turned back 22 amendments filed by Democrats that would maintain certain aspects of the health care overhaul (PL 111-148, PL 111-152) and several entitlement programs, as well as two separate Republican amendments related to Medicare and federal deficits. (McCrimmon, 1/12)
Bloomberg: Pressure On House To Back Obamacare Repeal Bid After Senate Vote
A top House leader said Thursday that there’s enough support to approve the measure in Friday’s scheduled vote. “Oh yeah, we’ll be fine,” Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said in a brief interview. (Dennis,1/12)
The Hill: Ryan Says Trump, GOP 'In Complete Sync' On ObamaCare
The incoming Trump administration and Republicans on Capitol Hill are “in complete sync” when it comes to repealing and replacing ObamaCare, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Thursday. “We are in complete sync. We agree we want to make sure we move these things concurrently, at the same time repeal and replace,” Ryan told reporters at his weekly news conference in the Capitol. (Wong, 1/12)
The Washington Post: Anxious Lawmakers To GOP Leaders: What’s The Plan To Replace Obamacare?
House Republican leaders attempted to quell concerns of a skittish rank and file before a key vote Friday to begin unwinding the Affordable Care Act. The assurances came after lawmakers across the GOP’s ideological divides sounded anxious notes this week about advancing legislation that would repeal Obamacare without firm plans for its replacement. “We just want more specifics,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said Wednesday. “We need to know what we’re going to replace it with.” Meadows said he was personally undecided on his vote Friday and that other caucus members were leaning toward no. (DeBonis, 1/12)
Politico: House Liberty Caucus Opposes Budget To Trigger Obamacare Repeal
The House Liberty Caucus, a collection of libertarian-minded lawmakers, is urging the House to reject the Senate-passed budget resolution meant to clear the way for the repeal of Obamacare. “This may be the worst budget ever seriously considered by Congress,” said caucus Executive Director Matt Weibel, in a statement announcing the recommendation. “It never balances, and it grows the national debt by more than $9 trillion over the next decade—to nearly $30 trillion—dwarfing debt increases proposed by even the most far-left budgets.” (Cheney, 1/12)
Politico: 7 Times Republicans Said Reconciliation Was Wrong For Health Care Laws
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is old enough to remember when reconciliation was the wrong tool for rewriting the rules of American health care. It was 2010, and Republicans were furious that Democrats were passing Obamacare (née “the Affordable Care Act”) via reconciliation — a budget maneuver that allowed them to pass much of the law through the Senate with 59 votes and sidestep a GOP filibuster. That March, 41 Republicans, 23 of whom are still in office today, sent a letter to then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to chide the then-majority for using reconciliation to pass parts of the law. (Jackson, 1/12)
At least five GOP governors have warned congressional Republicans of the disastrous consequences that could befall states that took expansion money if the law is dismantled.
Politico: GOP Governors Fight Their Own Party On Obamacare
Republican governors who reaped the benefits of Obamacare now find themselves in an untenable position — fighting GOP lawmakers in Washington to protect their states’ health coverage. This rift between state and federal GOP officials is the real battle on Obamacare at a time when Democrats have only marginal power in Congress. The voices of even a handful of Republican governors intent on protecting those at risk of losing coverage could help shape an Obamacare replacement and soften the impact on the millions who depend on the law. (Pradhan, 1/13)
USA Today/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Walker, Health Execs: State Shouldn't Lose From Obamacare Repeal
Gov. Scott Walker and state health care executives are pushing to ensure that an Obamacare repeal doesn't disadvantage Wisconsin compared with states that embraced the law — an issue with hundreds of millions of dollars at stake. (Stein, 1/12)
Boston Globe: Republican Baker Urges Congress To Keep Key Provisions Of Obamacare
With the GOP-controlled Congress moving rapidly to dismantle President Obama’s health care law, Governor Charlie Baker is urging fellow Republicans to maintain several key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, including allowing Massachusetts to keep its first-in-the-nation mandate that all its residents have health insurance. In a letter to House majority leader Kevin McCarthy, made public Thursday, Baker laid out a position in stark contrast to his fellow Republicans in Washington, who, with President-elect Donald Trump’s backing, are already working to eliminate Obama’s health care plan. (Miller and Dayal McCluskey, 1/12)
Nashville Tennessean: Haslam To Congress: ACA Reform Should Give Power To States
Gov. Bill Haslam is calling on Congress to cede more control over health policy and regulation to the states, as the debate over repealing or replacing the Affordable Care Act rages on in Washington. In a 19-page blue-print of his vision, the Republican Tennessee governor lays out what he and state officials think are cost drivers to rising health care and insurance costs, as well as encouraging Congress to "be flexible in the timing of any new reforms or revisions to health insurance statutes." (Fletcher and Ebert, 1/12)